Fungus ? in deep sediment
K N and P J Harris
ecoli at cix.compulink.co.uk
Wed Jul 19 02:33:23 EST 1995
Student brought in a sample of calcareous sediment from the Barcelona
area in Spain.
Question ? What are the little black spots ?
Low power stereo (x40) revealed many more or less spherical black
structures, half submerged in the soft rock base. About 200 to 300
microns in diameter, some with a small pore at the top.
Poking with a scalpel showed many of them to be fragile with the
consistency of soft charcoal and hollow. One more resilient specimen
showed evidence of a hard gelatinous content.
Eventually a few were observed to have small gelatinous, ochre coloured
finger like projections, often curled, poking out of the top of the
structure. Still only about 200 to 400 microns long. We managed to
photograph a couple of the specimens.
As a humble soil microbiologist, used to Penicillium, Aspergillus and
Trichoderma with the odd Mucor thrown in for fun, I have never seen
their like before. I suspect some type of ascomycete on size grounds but
would welcome ANY suggestions.
Peter Harris, Soil Science, University of Reading, UK.
AKA <P.J.Harris at reading.ac.uk>
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